The late Dr. Peter Buck, cofounder of Subway, donated 50 percent ownership of the chain to his nonprofit, The Peter and Carmen Lucia Buck Foundation.
The organization was formed as a way for Buck and his wife, Carmen Lucia Buck, to strategize their philanthropic efforts. It began distributing grants in 1999. Buck planned the donation more than a year ago as the final piece to “build [The Peter and Carmen Lucia Buck Foundation] into an institution designed to promote the best qualities of human nature.”
The foundation’s mission is “giving motivated people the tools they need to help themselves.” In addition to grants, the nonprofit provides strategic guidance, professional connections, capacity building, and other forms of assistance.
“This gift will allow the Foundation to greatly expand its philanthropic endeavors and impact many more lives, especially our work to create educational opportunities for all students, work Dr. Buck cared so deeply about,” Carrie Schindele, director of the foundation, said in a statement.
Working as a nuclear physicist, Buck loaned 17-year-old Fred DeLuca $1,000 in 1965 to help him open what would eventually become Subway. The first iteration was called Pete’s Super Submarines, named after Buck. The official Subway name was first used in 1968.
The news comes as Subway reportedly explores a sale. The sandwich chain hired advisers and could be valued at more than $10 billion, the Wall Street Journal said. DeLuca’s family holds the other 50 percent of ownership.
Subway chose not to comment on the potential sale, stating, “As a privately held company, we don’t comment on ownership structure and business plans. We continue to be focused on moving the brand forward with our transformational journey to help our franchisees succeed and be profitable.”